Today’s blog contributor is Johana Doblado, director of ROOM’s Scarlet Project in Honduras. Almost 3 years ago Johana made the life-changing decision to come on board with ROOM. As a self-described “safe” girl, linking arms with ROOM meant a life of embracing what she feared most: Change. Our ministry is focused on meeting the unchanging needs of the most vulnerable in the midst of ever-changing physical, political, and emotional climates. Read more to learn how the Lord prepared Johana for embracing the fearless attitude toward Change necessary for working in ministry.
This is a word I have had ample experience with over the last 8 years.
Change has always brought with it a myriad of feelings and emotions, and for what I consider “normal folks,” change is a synonym of instability, confusion, a sense of urgency, a state of survival, and, more often than, not: fear.
I had always considered myself someone who lived her life always playing it safe; I was always trying to be the “good girl” so I wouldn’t get a whooping like my sister before me; always doing the right thing because of fear of repercussions; always looking both ways before crossing the streets; and, if I made mistakes, I dealt with the consequences as best I knew how and tried my hardest never to make that mistake again. I lived a close-to-perfect life, not really letting a pesky thing like change come in and mess with my life. I never rocked the boat, if possible, because I’ve got the boat firmly where I want it. This was the gist behind how I lived my life.
Then 2008 happened and everything I had ever known kind of flew out the window.
That was the year I lost my mother. I became an instant pseudo-mom figure to my 14 year-old sister, and took on the role as Helper and Fixer as much as I could. This was the first real change of my life, and it was a doozy. In the years to come, I left my church of 29 years and shortly after that I quit my job of 9 years–all because of one unavoidable life issue: change. So to say I wasn’t a fan of change is a complete understatement; I was terrified of it. And all of a sudden, that’s all my life seemed to be: an unending stream of changes and my struggling to keep afloat.
During this time, one question kept coming to mind: “Why?”
I kept telling myself not to question the Lord and that somewhere down the road I would see “the why” and it would all make sense. I have gotten answers for some things. For others, well, I’m still waiting.
One of the biggest changes was quitting my job of nine years. I remember distinctly praying the day after I quit and saying to the Lord, “Well, You better have a plan because I certainly don’t, and I need a job soon. I won’t be picky; I just want a job that will be meaningful and have purpose.”
Not too much to ask, right?
The day after that I got a call about a possible job with this organization called ROOM. Talk about answer to prayer…and pretty prompt too!
The next three years have been such a blur: It will be 3 years in February that I took my job with Reach Out Orphanage Ministries. Some days it feels like I have been with ROOM forever and some days it seems like my first day was just yesterday.
One would think, now that I had a job, things would settle down and I would finally have what a person like me longs for: stability, a boat that doesn’t rock, and the absence of fear. Sorry to burst your bubble, but any of my fellow partners in life and work (Cassie and the rest of the Murray clan, Kacey, Bekah, Kaylie, Anita, Amanda and the Weeds) can attest to the fact that this is not the case. Change has been a big part of our life and more often than not, part of our daily life.
This is where I started to see the ‘why’ of everything. I had to learn many things about myself and the Lord and trust and faith. I had to come to grips with the fact that I might never know why my mom was taken from me when I still needed her so much, but I have learned that, even in that loss, the Lord was molding me and shaping me for something even bigger than I know and, more importantly, KNOWING that the Lord never left my side.
You see, through change we grow, through change we are molded and broken. Change brings pain sometimes but it paves the way for something better, for something new and improved. For so long I was stuck with the vision of “stability and comfort” but the Lord’s vision looked beyond the today and into the tomorrow where He wants to lead us. His perfect will isn’t always our vision of stable and comfy.
Looking back now, I realize that every big and small shift in my life has been preparing me to take on the Lords vision, and change is a part of it. As we started preparations for the end of the year at work, ROOM leadership asked me to consider what my vision for Reach Out Orphanage Ministries in 2017 was and my answer was simple: CHANGE.
My vision for ROOM is to be better than 2016 or 2015, to expand the mission that the Lord has put upon us but with one less thing holding us back…FEAR. The Lord has been with us so far and I believe that the Lord is still with us and will continue to be with us because He has walked us through change and has taught us that if we are with Him, no change is too big or too scary.
Today as I worshipped at my church’s service and I pondered what the message behind my blog would be, and a song started that is one of my all-time favorites. The lyrics made me start crying as I realized that I no longer fear change as I did 8 years ago. Jesus is my Cornerstone and where I am weak, He is made strong. Now I don’t know about you but this makes me pretty excited about what’s to come. I don’t know exactly what it looks like but I know this: GOD DOES. And we are blessed to be part of this ever-changing journey with Our Father.
“My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus name. Christ alone; Cornerstone; Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love; Through the storm, He is Lord Lord of all.”
To all those who read this: Thank you for joining us on this path so far and I hope you will keep joining us and partnering with us because great things are to come. We love you all very much and we thank the Lord daily for your support!
To learn more about how Reach Out Orphanage Ministries empowers children and communities, please visit our website.
To read more from Johanna, check out Unexpected Blessings~ Johanna Doblado. To learn more about Johanna, check out: ROOM’s Wonder Women: Johanna Doblado and Brittany Bethel
To make a donation to support the great plans our God has for ROOM in 2017, please visit ROOM’s 10th Anniversary Fundraising Page.